By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
YWCA Oklahoma City will hold its 12th Annual Purple Sash Gala on Saturday, June 6, at 7 p.m. at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 N.E. 63rd Street in Oklahoma City.
The evening will include dinner, live and silent auctions and a New York-style fashion runway show presented by r meyers. The event is black tie optional.
“Purple Sash is an amazing way to stand together and celebrate the courage and successes of survivors of domestic violence and raise funds to help those who are still struggling,” said Janet L. Peery, CEO of YWCA Oklahoma City.
“This is an elegant and exciting evening for a very worth while cause; helping men, women and children escape and heal from abuse.”
All proceeds from Purple Sash benefit the YWCA Oklahoma City, the only certified shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in Oklahoma County.
“We are so excited to have the opportunity to be at Purple Sash again this year,” said Cindi Shelby, r meyers owner and president. “The opportunity to show off our apparel while at the same time supporting such a wonderful cause is an honor.”
Live and silent auction items offered that evening will range from sports and music memorabilia, a tornado shelter, a five night stay in a 5-bedroom home in Crested Butte, to a custom tailored suit.
This year’s Title Sponsor for Purple Sash is SandRidge Energy. Additional sponsors include The Chickasaw Nation, Lezlie and David Hudiburg, Crescent Consulting, Devon Energy, Ernst & Young, Home Creations, and OPUBCO Communications Group. Production & Décor is sponsored by Eventures and catering will be sponsored by Skirvin Hilton.
“The YWCA OKC’s Sexual Assault Programs provide 24 hour response to meet the needs of the community,” said Karla Docter, Senior Director of Sexual Assault Services. “We provide services across a continuum of care, starting with the 24 hour Sexual Assault Hotline.
“We provide an Advocate to assist with safety and support during a Sexual Assault Nurse Exam, as well as case management, free counseling and a sexual assault support group. We also serve as a resource center to the community by offering information, speakers and referrals, “Docter added.
When a victim is taken to the hospital for a forensic exam, the YWCA coordinates getting a volunteer nurse and advocate to the hospital within one hour. Hospital advocates are trained volunteers who provide emotional support and resources for victims to make them as comfortable as possible during and after the exam.
“With early intervention, victims are able to decrease the symptoms of traumatic stress, improve their ability to cope and to heal from their experiences,” said Docter.
“Early intervention will increase the likelihood that they will be able to form and maintain functional relationships.”
Docter says there are many ways to support the YWCA Oklahoma City and the sexual assault survivors in Oklahoma.
“You can speak out about sexual assault, educate yourself about rape myths, stand up for those victimized or volunteer in one of our many lifesaving programs or special projects,” said Docter. “The YWCA clients need clothing and other supplies.”
Individual tickets to the Gala cost $250. Table sponsorships are available from $2,500 to $15,000 and include a table of 10 and a listing in the event program and on all promotional materials. The YWCA is also seeking unique and interesting items for the live and silent auctions for the event.
The YWCA-OKC is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice and dignity for all.
Nearly 3,000 women, children and men receive help through YWCA programs, including emergency shelter for battered women and children, counseling, support groups, child care, transitional housing, financial literacy, batterer’s intervention and other services.